DoCoMoMo Finland: Malmi's runways are a part of the valuable site

22 December 2004

The Finnish working group of the international DoCoMoMo (Documentation and Conservation of Buildings, Sites and Neighbourhoods of the Modern Movement) working group presents Malmi Airport with its runways as the most threatened cultural site in the Finnish DoCoMoMo selection.

Malmi Airport with its runways has been a part of DoCoMoMo's Finnish selection of sites from the beginning (since 1994). The specific mentioning of the runways as a part of the valuable site supports the view of the National Board of Antiquities that the aviation activities are of considerable importance to the cultural value of Malmi Airport.

Malmi Airport with its original runway system is an exceptionally well-preserved pre-WWII international airport with a living aviation milieu that is second to none in authenticity. The selection of Malmi Airport onto the worldwide List of 100 Most Endangered Sites by World Monuments Fund has made Malmi Airport the internationally best-known endangered cultural site in Finland.

The matter is made especially interesting by the fact that Finland has in October 2003 as a Member State signed the UNESCO Declaration Concerning Intentional Destruction of Cultural Heritage. The Declaration gives a moral obligation to the Member States to act against intentional destruction of cultural heritage, and, among other things, to define legal responsibilities both on state level and on individual level for cases involving such destruction.

It is likely that cultural organizations worldwide are following closely what "fulfilling a moral obligation" means in Finland.